March’s show is up on iTunes and Stitcher — the theme was Sibling Rivalry and Leah Jones, Kenzie Seibert, Amy Eaton, Al Rosenberg, Molly Rafferty, and special guest host Carly Oishi take you through brothers, sisters, step, blood, and everything in-between.
Get out your quills and charge your keyboards, we’re talking about letters. Legal letters, letters of recommendation, Dear John letters, FAN LETTERS OMG, from the desk of Maggie Tomasek, LeeAnn Yops, Anna Wolfe, and Lisa Hilleren.
Maggie Tomasek is a writer, comic, runner and rapper. She’s performed at the kates, Write Club, Story Club, You’re Being Ridiculous, Essay Fiesta and Tuesday Funk, among many others. Maggie is also a member of She’s Crafty, Chicago’s all-female Beastie Boys tribute. You can see her with She’s Crafty on Saturday, May 6, at Township in Logan Square.
LeeAnn Yops (long “O” in that “Yo”) is a Chicago-based stand-up comedian, storyteller and writer originally from Wisconsin. She’s your go-to guide for all thing 80s and 90s related. LeeAnn is the creator of the website BH9021WHOA, the site that’s better than a Mega Burger about everyone’s favorite teen drama zip code. When she’s not busy gushing over Luke Perry, she also runs a monthly storytelling show about music called Appetite for Rock n’ Roll Storytelling. You can catch Appetite every second Wednesday at the Elbo Room at 8 p.m. for a true evening of oral debauchery.
Anna Rose Wolfe is an writer / performer. She is the co founder of Scout & Birdie, and online literary magazine and podcast. Anna is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she earned a BA in Acting and a minor in Gender Studies. She performs regularly with The LIVINGroom, a solo performance ensemble. Anna has been featured in venues and fests around Chicago, such as Life Line Theater’s Fillet of Solo Festival, Greenhouse Theatre Center’s Solo Celebration, Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Festival, National Cool Shorts, The Plagiarists Salon, and The Election Monologues.
Lisa Hilleren is a North Dakotan who moved to Chicago via Wisconsin. Lisa is the founder of bikecampchicago.info, a blog dedicated to car free camping in the Chicago region. While Lisa usually writes about bicycles or feelings about bicycles, sometimes she also just writes about feelings. If you’d like to know more about Lisa’s bicycles or feelings, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @yo_uterus.
Sister sister brother brother blood and step and everything in between on Wednesday with Molly Rafferty, Al Rosenberg, Leah Jones, Kenzie Seibert, Amy Eaton, and the triumphant aka I asked her and she said okay return of co-host Carly Oishi (Jasmine is taking the air in England). The theme is Sibling Rivalry and we hope to see you there.
From the suburbs of Chicago, Kenzie trained at The iO Comedy and The Second City Conservatory. Currently, you can see her through the end of April with the amazing all-female cast of “For The Love Of”, at Pride Films and Plays, where she is a proud company member. You can also see her on Upworthy.com and the Huffington Post with her satirical film piece, “Pinkwashing for a Cure”, where she sheds light on the injustice behind booby health. She does storytelling at The iO Comedy Theater, The Annoyance Theater, and The Second City. She also performs drag as The Duchess, at Berlin Drag Club, and every month at Gender Is A Drag— the variety show she co-created and co-hosts with her partner, at The iO Comedy Theater. She is represented by BMG talent, and fueled by the Lincoln Ave Burrito House.
If Tina Fey and Jerry Seinfeld had a baby, Molly Rafferty would run away from it because babies are disgusting. Molly (just barely) graduated from Columbia College Chicago’s Fiction Writing program and has studied comedy writing at iO, Second City, and FemCom. Molly has read her work at Reading Under the Influence and Essay Fiesta, and she’ll also be performing at the Book Cellar with the Kates in June. An ornery educator by day, Molly spends her nights co-hosting “Smartmouth,” a feminist history tribute podcast.
Al Rosenberg is a writer and Professional Jew. She also likes to think of herself as a professional sick person and lesbian, but she doesn’t actually get paid for that. She spends what little free time she can wring from her day reading, gaming, and being a mediocre cat mom. You can find her super sad essays and mostly sassy game reviews on WomenWriteAboutComics.com.
After 15 years in Chicago, Leah Jones is finally willing to admit that she’s here to stay. She is a former stand-up comic, long-time blogger, and is starting to threaten her boss that she’s going to start a podcast about healthcare policy. She lives in Ravenswood with her two cats and insists that there’s always room for pie.
Our first show of the year is up. Get over to iTunes and let Amy Sumpter, Crystal Lynette, Louise W. Knight, Deborah Siegel, and Allie Kahan take you on a hero’s journey.
Is Sam Smith kinda edgy for you? You’re in luck this Wednesday. We’ve got Melanie LaForce, Ali Kelley, Danette Chavez, and a *~mystery guest~*, talking about what those star tattoos on your wrist really mean, and perhaps going a little or a lot deeper than you’d expect.
Okay the mystery guest is Brittany Meyer. Also, it’s Ali’s last Chicago show before she departs for her East Coast homeland. Also, we’re going to have a raffle. Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.
Melanie LaForce was born in Painesville, Ohio and has lived in Chicago since 2000. Most of Melanie’s time is spent as an education researcher at the University of Chicago. Melanie also writes essays and satire for websites such as The Hairpin, Bust, Refinery29, and Medium. In her spare time, Melanie plays onstage at Second City and trains skaters with the Windy City Rollers.
Ali Kelley is a writer living in Chicago and soon to be New York. Her work has appeared in HelloGiggles, McSweeney’s and the Washington Post. She writes about ’90s pop culture and teen angst on her blog, Sleepoverz.
Danette Chavez is a culture writer and editor but she took the scenic route getting there, spending over 10 years in the hellscape that is newspaper advertising sales. She’s been published in the Chicago Reader, Chicagoist, Literary Chicago, XOJane, and is currently the Assistant Editor at The Onion’s A.V. Club.
Brittany is a Chicago-based comic, story teller, cat owner, arm wrestler, and queer. Brittany has green eyes and has often been described as “that song Killer Queen.” As a comic, Brittany performs around Chicago in various clubs and showcases from Zanies to Laugh Factory, and hosts many pop up shows out of state. Brittany is both the creator and producer of ‘Strip Joker;’ a body positive, comedy showcase partnered with the ‘You are Beautiful’ campaign, located at Uptown Underground, cast member of the kates, and producer of Tuxedo Cat Comedy. For more info, check out BrittanyMeyerDoesThat.com.
In these times, we’re holding out for a hero more than ever. This Wednesday, Allie Kahan, Amy Sumpter, Crystal Lynette, Louise W. Knight, and Deborah Siegel bring us their personal definition of just that, from caped crusaders to feminist icons to family. Meanwhile, I’ll softly hum the lyrics to the Mariah Carey classic, and hope it adds ambience.
Allie Kahan grew up in the suburban town of Glenview, Illinois. Heavily influenced by Nancy Drew, she was fond of trying to solve neighborhood mysteries, of which there were always none. Now, Allie is graduating in March with a degree in Communications and Media with a minor in Psychology. She has completed two internships working in the communications department of different non-for-profits. Allie writes weekly satirical articles for The Black Sheep, as well as hosts, interns and studies improvisation at iO Chicago. She is a monologist in DePaul University’s Vagina Monologues in February. In her spare time, Allie sees improv shows at iO, tries recipes from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, and fruitlessly tries to convince her friends how fun it would be to start a book club.
Amy Sumpter is a cast member of the Kates. She can be seen all over Chicago doing stand up. When she isn’t doing that, you can find her high-kicking and rapping with She’s Crafty, Chicago’s all-female Beastie Boy tribute band.
Louise W. Knight
A native of Evanston who spent 20 years elsewhere after college, Louise W. Knight eventually found her Midwest roots too strong to ignore. Writing two books about Illinois-born Jane Addams also helped draw her back. After a career in university and nonprofit administration and fundraising, she is a biographer now, working on a third book about two radical abolitionist-feminists of the 1830s, the sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke.
Deborah Siegel is the author of two books and a pair of boy/girl twins, and the founder of the public voice consultancy, Girl Meets Voice Inc. She’s also co-founder of SheWrites.com, Senior Facilitator with The OpEd Project, and creator of the Girl w/Pen blog. A Visiting Scholar in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Northwestern University and a lover of all things lake, she’s an ex-New Yorker who bailed on academia but never fully left. Her writing has appeared in venues including The Washington Post, The Guardian, CNN.com, The Forward, Kveller, Slate, The Huffington Post, The American Prospect, Ms., More, and Psychology Today, and she’s been featured on The Today Show, at TEDx, and in the New York Times. Deborah is currently obsessed with a multimedia experiment in thinking out loud, and in community, about gender and early childhood. Learn more at http://www.deborahsiegelphd.com.
Crystal Lynnette is a lifelong, deep dish-eating, Cubs-loving, no ketchup on hotdogs-having Chicagoan. She is new to storytelling in front of adults, but spends most of her days telling stories to 9 and 10-year-olds as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher. During her free time she is training for a marathon, doing yoga, or watching reruns of The Office, and eating an embarrassing amount of Taco Bell (it is called balance).
Happy New Year! I’m pretty freaked out about our president elect, and pretty excited about our upcoming shows. We’re going to do kind of a staggered release this year (settle down, Beavis), you’ll get the rest sometime in March — something to look forward to during an interminable Midwestern winter. But yes. We’re looking for readers for everything with an asterisk, hit us up at missspokenchicago [at] gmail [dot] com if you’re interested.
January: Heroes (BOOKED)
March: Sibling Rivalry*
May: Breakin’ the Law*
June: Munchies (BOOKED)
Happy holidays! We hope you had a good Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or day off of work. The last Miss Spoken of 2016 is up on iTunes (and shortly, Stitcher). The theme was Rites of Passage, and featured readers included Sophie Amado, Lauren Catey, Turi Ryder, and Rachel Hyman.
2016 blew pretty hard, and 2017 is going to be even worse if we don’t do something about it. We’re committed to showing up in the coming year, whatever form that takes. As of January, that means our inaugural show. The theme is Heroes.
xoxo and RIP George Michael and Carrie Fisher (what the hell),
-Rose and Jasmine
Walk with us through those ceremonies, formal and otherwise, that mark the passage from one state to another (please read the previous in a “Submitted for for the approval of the Midnight Society” voice). Us is Sophie Amado, Lauren Catey, Turi Ryder, Tamale Sepp, and Rachel Hyman, telling stories about Rites of Passage.
Sophie Amado is a proud Chicago native and she will judge you if you put ketchup on your hot dogs or if you’re still not excited to hear Go Cubs Go since November 2nd. She received her BA from the University of Iowa and spent a year surrounded by Spanish ham and red wine in Madrid, Spain teaching English to high school students with the Fulbright program. Sophie returned to her homeland to go to grad school for creative nonfiction writing at Columbia College where she teaches rhetoric to freshmen and is an assistant editor for Hotel Amerika. When she’s not doing either of those things she likes eating food that requires chopsticks or Googling celebrities ‘birthdays.
Lauren Catey was raised on a farm in Indiana. Her best friend was a horse. She moved to Chicago 10 years ago to go to art school, which made her parents deeply uncomfortable. Now she spends her time writing and teaching 3rd graders in West Humboldt Park. She writes stories that they probably shouldn’t hear.
Turi Ryder has spent most of her working life where almost nobody can see her: on the radio. You may have heard her on Chicago’s WGN or WLS (AM or FM}. She has also offended people over the airwaves in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis (where she was voted Best and Worst of the Twin Cities by the same entertainment weekly in the same year), and Seattle. Turi recently emerged from her soundproof room with a memoir, “She Said What?”.
Rachel Hyman is the author of the poetry chapbook Dear S (Big Lucks, 2015). She co-edits the literary journal Banango Street and co-runs the Welcome to the Neighborhood reading series. She was born in Chicago and will probably die in Chicago.
Tamale is a stand up comedian and interdisciplinary performer who splits her time between Chicago and the rest of the world. She also travels internationally with her fierce eyebrows. Voted runner-up for Chicago’s Best Stand Up Comedian for The Reader, Tamale is a regular at The Laugh Factory, Zanies Comedy Clubs, and countless local and national showcases. With a BS in Agricultural Education and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media, her comedy occupies a wide spectrum, and never disappoints. Tamale also loves to shoot guns, skydive, and ride her giant motorcycle with an eyelash …because she has a lot to prove. Check her out at TamaleRocks.com and around town as she rides her motorcycle (often in costumes) with her pals in Bikes and Mics!
To kick off the holiday season, we’ve added the Road Trip, Wedding Bells, and Gossip shows to the podcast. Enjoy.